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Match Reports

Reading 2 Pompey 3

Blues fight from to two goals down to win again

28 October 2023

Colby Bishop scores for Pompey at Reading
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Reading 2 Pompey 3

Blues fight from to two goals down to win again

28 October 2023

Pompey showed they were the comeback kings once more by battling from two goals down to win at Reading.

Lewis Wing and Charlie Savage had struck in quick succession for the troubled hosts to leave their opponents stunned.

But the Blues created plenty of chances and Tino Anjorin reduced their deficit before Colby Bishop levelled just before the break.

And Terry Devlin then netted in the second half to ensure the three points would deservedly be heading back to the south coast.

John Mousinho made four changes from the side that were held to a draw at Cambridge earlier in the week.

Devlin was handed a full league debut, while there were also starts for Anjorin, Jack Sparkes and Joe Rafferty.

Christian Saydee, Abu Kamara and Zak Swanson all dropped to the bench, with Connor Ogilvie missing out through injury.

The game was only a few minutes old when home fans – unhappy about the way their club is being run – hurled tennis balls into the pitch.

It was the first of several interruptions during the first half that halted Pompey’s flow and led to referee Martin Coy threatening to abandon the contest.

The visitors had still made the brighter start, though, and Bishop’s effort from a tight angle was saved by David Button.

Paddy Lane soon tried to catch the keeper off his line with an ambitious long-range attempt, but was unable to get enough height on the shot.

Pompey then had a sloppy spell that saw them punished by conceding two goals in the space of just four minutes.

When Sam Smith’s delivery was nodded away by Conor Shaughnessy, it was Wing who was first to the loose ball to fire home.

Andy Yiadom then beat Anjorin on the right and swung in a cross that was flicked on by Harvey Knibbs for Savage to drill into the bottom corner.

The visitors soon regained their composure, however, and Shaughnessy forced a fine save from Button after meeting a Sparkes free-kick.

And the deficit was reduced on 33 minutes, when Lane raced onto Alex Robertson’s pass and crossed for ANJORIN to neatly convert with a low volley.

Reading almost hit back immediately, as Will Norris came out of his box and was beaten to the ball by Smith, who somehow fired over with the net gaping.

Most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch, with Button on hand to deny Anjorin and Bishop in quick succession.

Robertson then ended a passage of patient passing play by firing in a low shot that Button just about got his fingertips to.

It was all Pompey during an eight additional minutes, although it was during a ninth that the leveller arrived.

The Royals moaned about that, forgetting that they had been wasting as much time as possible during set-pieces.

Devlin had a shot that was blocked, only for the ball to run loose for Lane to cut back for BISHOP to tap home.

Half Time: Reading 2 Pompey 2

The Blues looked to keep building momentum once the action restarted and soon had a chance to take the lead.

It was an acrobatic overhead attempt from Anjorin that was heading for the net before Button got down to make a superb save.

Pompey were camped out around the Reading box and there were further half-chances for Bishop and Devlin.

So it came as absolutely no surprise when they took the lead for the first time just before the hour mark.

There was another fine cross from Sparkes, which was nodded back by Bishop for DEVLIN to volley into the roof of the net.

A change followed soon after, with Gavin Whyte – recovered from illness – replacing Anjorin on the left.

The intense pressure continued and Regan Poole met a Sparkes free-kick with a header that bounced down into the turf and over the bar.

Mousinho made a double substitution on 73 minutes, with Devlin and Lane replaced by Saydee and Kamara.

Reading had posed little threat for most of the second half, but two of their substitutes combined to almost find a leveller.

Ben Elliott released Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan in the area and the latter’s shot was turned behind by Norris.

With the hosts looking to attack, Sean Raggett and Swanson came on for the closing stages to shore things up.

The display of seven additional minutes caused a few groans and Norris made a fine save to keep out Elliott’s fierce strike.

Button came up for the resulting corner, but when the ball landed at the keeper’s feet, he could only screw it wide.

That was the hosts' final chance, although they received a further blow after the final whislte when Amadou Mbengue was sent off for a clash with Kamara.

Reading (4-1-4-1): Button; Yiadom (c), Dean, Bindon, Guinness-Walker (Mbengue 66); Craig; Azeez (Mukairu 66), Wing, Savage (Ehibhatiomhan 75), Knibbs (Elliott 66); Smith (Ballard 75)
Goals: Wing 23, Savage 27
Sent off: Mbengue
Booked: Wing, Guinness-Walker, Dean, Elliott
Subs not used: Pereira, Abbey

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Poole, Shaughnessy, Sparkes (Swanson 90+1); Robertson (Raggett 90+1), Morrell (c); Lane (Kamara 73), Devlin (Saydee 73), Anjorin (Whyte 62); Bishop
Goals: Anjorin 33, Bishop 45+9, Devlin 58
Booked: Robertson, Saydee
Subs not used: Schofield, Yengi

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 14,417 (2,891 Pompey fans)

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